Topaz Plugins itsy bitsy spider and a “H” stories voting reminder

Here’s a quick reminder to please — if so inclined — read the “H” Alphabet Challenge Stories. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite HERE.<<<this is a link

Clicking on the link will magically transport you to a post. There, you ‘ll find the poll where you can vote for your favorite of the three stories. Unless you want to deprive your friends of the experience, you can share that link and help expand the readership. if we say so ourselves — and we have to — most of the stories aren’t that bad.

If you’ve already voted, thank you. If you’ve already asked friends and family to read and vote, thank you again.

So, itsy bitsy spider . . . Two days ago, I told the tale (<<<this is a link) of me hurting a spider, likely breaking one of its legs. As I said, I rarely (intentionally) hurt spiders. But, I do intentionally post-process their photos with effects I find interesting. Today, I’m using a few Topaz Labs Plugins and Standalone Apps.

You can click on the individual photos for a larger view. Should you want to see the full-size photos, that’s possible if you go to the SmugMug gallery HERE.<<<this is a link However, because they are cropped, the full-size versions are only slightly larger than these.

Anyway, here are the treatments I tried on the photos from the original itsy bitsy spider post . . .

I know some readers aren’t partials to these versions, but I find some very interesting and visually as striking — if not more so — than the originals.

If you are reading this post on a hand-held device, you’re not likely to appreciate these because you won’t see the details.

Really, I liken it to looking at a painting from a distance. You might guess it’s a painting, but you won’t see — or appreciate — how the painting is created.

Personally, I like exploring how (simulated) drawing implements can put down colors or shades of black and gray to fool the mind into recognizing a familiar subject even when — on close examination — the small details bear no resemblance to the small details of the subject itself. Whew! . . . that’s a hard sentence to read (and write).

Of course, as in the example above and below, the strokes do resemble reality, and that’s the trick. In these two photos, there are more than enough details for your brain to ‘see’ the subject.

From my dabbling in drawing, I know the trick is knowing (understanding) how the mind interprets the lines you put down and thus recognizes the subject with a minimum of information.

That requires an understanding of what are the key characteristics of a subject. For example, before emojis, there were emoticons.<<<this is a link My apologies to people who are intimately familiar with these things; I’m writing this for the three or four people who never heard or use these things.

Emoticons assume most people (not all) will recognize (visualize) a given facial expression when represented by a few characters. From experience, people will try and interpret the characters by either looking at them right-side up, or sideways.

Right-side up:

(>_<)   mad or troubled

(°-°) (°.°)  confused/surprised


:‑)  happy

:‑D  laughing

Of course, recognition requires a certain familiarity with the underlying intent; meaning, both the sender and recipient have to agree on the fact the characters are meant to represent an emotion, expression, or subject. By the way, I space them out so they are more easily processed.

Can you guess what these are without looking them up?






OK, that last one is a softball.

I avoid using emoticons and emojis and the like but admit they can have a place in texting and in certain situations where using a symbol to express an emotion or feeling is much faster and more direct than trying to explain it in detail.

My expressed antipathy for emojis and emoticons is mostly an opportunity for humor, but I seldom use them myself (except occasionally in texts). 

Anyway, back to Lefty . . .

Both of those are from the Glow 2.0 plugin. That’s one of the least used of the Topaz plugins I own that didn’t come in a bundle (meaning I purchased it individually), with Impressions probably being the one I use the most. I use Sharpen AI a fair amount but that doesn’t substantially change the photo.

I also frequently use an old plugin called Restyle. I use it to substitute colors or change the balance of the colors. The last photo was processed in Restyle before running it through the Glow plugin.

This next photo was first run through Restyle.

. . . before running it through Impression . . .

Same for these next two photos . . .

But, usually, I do straight Impression processing (unless I go to Studio and then add other effects like frames and stuff).

Here’s a gallery with all the photos presented in random order.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Insects, Macro Photography, Nikon D7500, Photography Stuff, Photos, Topaz Plug-ins and Studio and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Topaz Plugins itsy bitsy spider and a “H” stories voting reminder

  1. mvschulze says:

    Have to admit, these are pretty cool! (Cool? Did I just regress back to the 60’s?) I find I really like cute little spidy, Seems he would make a nice pet/companion! Which are his eyes? The smaller black orbs, or larger, …or all four? M :-)


  2. Lefty looks wonderful in each and every photo!
    The closeups on his facial expression…he seems to have something he really wants to vent to us. Hmm…wonder what it is? Ooh, maybe he’s pissed off at the same things some of us are pissed off about.
    You know I love emojis. And I do remember emoticons…but hadn’t thought about them in eons. The Homer Simpson one is funny…That IS Homer, right?!
    I have a friend who used to send me emoticons in messages, etc. I never really got into them myself. I think there used to a be a cat one. ???
    I recognize all of the ones you listed, except the second one… with the ###’s.
    (((HUGS))) and hope it was a great weekend!


    • disperser says:

      He looks more stoic than pissed off (in my opinion) but we’ll never know until we find his memoirs.

      That is Homer, and the other one :‑###.. is being sick or throwing up.

      Of the two, I find emoticons cleverer than emojis because there’s more of a challenge to interpreting them. Emojis, however, have a greater variety and range of expression.

      As for a cat one:
      (=^・^=) (=^・・^=) =^_^=

      If you click on the wikipedia link in the post, you can see several animals but you would have to know (and agree) ahead of time what those are because they aren’t obvious. Some of the Eastern emoticons make use of characters we don’t readily have (You’d have to learn the ALT-codes for them and set the language option).

      This link is interesting and shows the Unicode symbols for a lot of stuff:

      Click to access U1F900.pdf

      Entering Unicode is a pain and it doesn’t always work because it depends on fonts loaded (I think; I could be wrong). Also, HTML is the easier method (hold the ALT key and enter a number) but that doesn’t map onto similar Unicode symbols (again, depending on fonts) and is mostly for entering characters and a few symbols. You should be able to enter the actual HTML code for a Unicode symbol, using &# but I find it works inconsistently if at all and, again, doesn’t map onto the Unicode list.

      Here’s the full emoji list with corresponding code:

      Let me try adding one from the first table (a foot): &#1f9b6;

      If it doesn’t work, it’ll be just some characters. (Edited to add: it didn’t work. I know there is a way, but I don’t remember it right now). Again, If I really need a specific character or symbol, I typically find it on the Internet and then use copy/paste to insert it. If it works, I then check how the editor put it in there. I then save the code into a note file I keep on my desktop so that I can just copy and paste when/if I need it again.

      Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      So, that was copied from this place.

      You click on a symbol you want, and then copy (CNTL-C, or Right-Click Copy), and then paste here.

      It should work using the ALT codes, but it doesn’t. I will bookmark the page so I can copy and paste for the two times a year I use emojis.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for all the info in your comments back to me!

        I use a site that is copy and paste site and has a million emojis! …flowers, insects, signs, fairy tale peoples, animals, vehicles, celebrations, ETC.
        I use them when I comment to some people’s WP blogs.
        I never inflict them on you! (HA!)


      • disperser says:

        You are welcome to share the link here; I suspect other emojiers might be interested.


  3. BETH says:

    You rose to the challenge.


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